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Call to Establish a National Convention Bureau

Professional Conference Organizers Seek Government Support.

(12/23/2002) Leaders from the companies that organize conferences and conventions nationwide have called on the Government to establish a National Convention Bureau to support them in their bidding efforts to bring major conference events to Indonesia.

Iqbal Allan Abdullah, the Chairman of INCAA - The Indonesian Conference and Congress Association, has renewed his long-standing call for government action in establishing a convention bureau in order to help Indonesia recover its share of the lucrative conference and convention business sector.

Some 34 major conference events were cancelled for Jakarta, Bali, and Yogyakarta following the October 12th bomb blasts. Igbal estimates that it will take a minimum of 2-3 years for the meetings and conference sector to regain its momentum, a process that can be accelerated with government support in the form of an official convention bureau.

Pointing to the example of Thailand which recently established a national convention bureau with a total outlay of Baht 22 million, Iqbal has called for an Indonesian Convention Bureau financed 90% through government funds and 10% from private sector monies. He also emphasized that the amount of money the government is prepared to dedicate to establishing a national convention bureau is of secondary importance to an official commitment to the need for such a body.